Sunday, June 16, 2013

Direction (方向)

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching. Well, I guess that's nothing new; I tend to think a lot. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm seriously considering Japanese to English translation as a possibility. Realistically, though, I know I'm a long way off from being able to translate professionally. That's why I've decided to hunker down and rededicate myself to studying. 

I've resubscribed to TV Japan and am making a serious effort to watch (though I don't watch a ton of TV these days). I've been taking a weekly class at the Japan America Society of Washington DC, and I'm reading a lot more Japanese than I used to - online newspaper articles (often heavily aided by Rikaikun), essays, and manga. When I went to New York last month, I picked up an essay/manga book by Saori Oguri, the author of the ダーリンはは外国人 (My Darling is a Foreigner) comics. And then the J-library near where I work decided to shut down, so they were giving away most of their books. I picked up these five manga called 結婚しよう (Let's Get Married). I'm pretty sure the intended readers for the Let's Get Married books are young women, but so far it's an interesting story and it's still good for picking up vocabulary and kanji. 
A real man isn't ashamed of reading this kind of stuff.

The other day I just finished both the Oguri book and the first Let's Get Married comic; took about a month of reading both intermittently (mostly on the train). I'm feeling good about my progress, but still a long way to go...

I've been thinking, if I had known I'd want to pursue translation, I would have been better off spending another couple years in Japan on the JET Program and beefing up my Japanese skills. There're a lot of things I'd do differently given the chance, I guess. But I've mentioned that before, haven't I?

The plan could change, but for now I'm going to keep studying and looking for a better job. And if nothing better comes up by this fall, perhaps I'll reapply to JET, for a CIR position. I'm not sure how good my chances would be of being accepted a second time, and for a more competitive position, but I've got nothing to lose.


Now I've gotta find some more books to read.